It was an emotional homecoming for “Black Panther” star Michael B. Jordan as he hosted a special screening of the highly anticipated movie in his hometown of Newark, and only “Extra” was on hand to see the touching return for the New Jersey native!
In an exclusive interview with “Extra’s” AJ Calloway, Michael said, “It’s a nostalgic feeling. When I was driving in, I was pointing out where I used to go to high school. I remember walking, catching the bus. It just takes me back to when I was a kid. The everyday grind, chasing the dream. To come back and be able to take my career, my passion, my love of filmmaking and bring it back to my community will hopefully inspire them to do whatever they want to do in life... is emotional.”
Playing the villain in the new Marvel movie, Michael hopes the superhero will leave African-American kids feeling inspired. Members of the invitation-only audience included Newark mayor Ras Baraka, local members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, high school students, church groups and Jordan’s family.
Michael emphasized how special the night was, saying, “It’s a big deal, to bring out as many people as I can, high schools, churches, Boys & Girls Clubs, people that really had an influence on me growing up. To be able to come back to my hometown on this project means the world to me. I know how tough Newark is. I know what it's like to feel trapped, that you don't have many options or opportunities. Hopefully, this movie will give them a little inspiration, give them a little motivation, and help drive their ambition to get beyond these city walls.”
“Black Panther” is in theaters now.